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Photography of Bullets in Flight


INSTANTANEOUS photography by means of an -electric spark provides the investigator of highspeed phenomena with a most valuable source of data. Such photographs are of the shadow variety, the bullet shadow being projected upon a photographic plate by a spark of great intensity and short duration. If the bullet is moving with a speed equal to or greater than that of sound, it propagates from both its nose and base a compressional wave. Light from the photographing spark in passing through the denser atmosphere of the compressional wave is refracted as by a lens, so that the wave front is also projected upon the photographic plate with the bullet. The method lends itself readily to the investigation of a projectile's stability at various points along its trajectory and to many allied problems of exterior ballistics. Instructive photographs of the recoil and shell ejection of automatic rifles, pistols, and machine guns may also be obtained in this manner.

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    Journal of the Franklin Institute, May 1922.

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